You don’t have to be a daycare expert to appreciate that play is a medium through which children learn how to express themselves, learn as well as communicate and interact with their peers. The importance of understanding play has been understood for centuries, although it is arguable that it is only since the renaissance that attempts to quantify it have been undertaken. In the early 20th century observing children splashing in the water or jumping over the waves was believed to demonstrate a throwback to our evolutionary past. Observing older children, particularly boys, building dens or benders was believed to demonstrate our Neolithic instinct to build shelter and congregate together. Whatever the reasons, a child from Bloomsburg PA will need to play as much as a child from the Sahel.
Why do we play?
The truth is that there is no absolute categorical answer and just as important, play (whatever the word means) is not a uniquely human experience. One strand of though asserts that human children in the modern world do not have to worry about becoming food for carnivores or running out of food and water. The result is that our highly developed brains need stimulus and we have time to spare for fooling around and getting to know each other. One point is incontrovertible children will have the energy for play. I have spent many an exhausting night babysitting so called tired children, playing with them well into the small hours. Even sick and ill children in hospitals have an overwhelming desire to play. Whatever the context, we can simply say that play is simply good for us, natural and benefits us in the long run, otherwise why would we do it?
Daycare and play
As a corollary from all of this, it is obvious that the time spent at daycare must reflect the truism that children need stimulation. In other words children get bored very easily, just ask any teacher or practitioner of education. The sure fire way of circumventing the symptoms of bored children is to bring variety to the classroom. To do this planning is essential and the learning experience must be broken down piecemeal and must incorporate play. Children can then learn about the world around them in a constructive and interactive way.